TOTO surprises with return of David Paich in Ziggo Dome

When TOTO kicked off their European tour in Tilburg last week, the reactions were fairly unanimous: Despite a greatly changed band composition, TOTO still sounded magical after 45 years. According to the audience, the only thing that could still be improved about the performance in Tilburg 013 was that David Paich, who had to withdraw a few years ago due to health problems, played along. They should have known…

After TOTO gave a sold-out open air concert in Bonn on Thursday evening after two shows in the Netherlands, TOTO returned to the Netherlands on Friday evening for a sold out concert in Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome. While the audience in the ArenA across the street had to listen to the softer sound of Ed Sheeran, the audience in the Ziggo was delighted with a cheerful top show of world class. The ‘Dogz of Oz’ tour shows that true artists still have the right to exist after more than 40 years.

TOTOSteve Lukather and Joseph Williams are joined on this tour by a bunch of ‘Toto newbies’: bassist John Pierce (Huey Lewis and The News), drummer Robert ‘Sput’ Searight (Ghost-Note, Snarky Puppy, Snoop Dogg), keyboardists Steve Maggiora (Robert Jon & The Wreck) and Dominique ‘Xavier’ Taplin (Prince, Ghost-Note) and percussionist/saxophonist Warren Ham (Ringo Starr). Certainly Taplin and ‘Sput’ Searight proved to be a strong addition to the new TOTO, while Pierce also proved to be a solid replacement for Michael Porcaro.

totoWith opener ‘Orphan’ it was already clear that TOTO had not lost an ounce of strength over the years. TOTO went through the band’s first 12 years in Amsterdam to the delight of the audience, bringing hit after hit, accompanied by more guitar violence from Lukather than can usually be expected from a now 64-year-old. Yes, Lukather was in the mood and as a young guitar god he soloed through the pieces (like with ‘Kingdom of Desire’), while Williams was just as good in voice as before. The many years of Rock ‘n Roll and the extensive touring life had clearly left no trace on the legends. And in terms of legends, Lukather and his men knew how to talk about it. Early in the set he commemorated Alfred Lagarde, who discovered TOTO for the Netherlands at the time. Nice to see that the men hadn’t gotten any air and hadn’t dropped the pillars of yesteryear.

TOTOTOTO knew what to do. Of course, because after a few years of corona poverty, the fans only wanted one thing: to sing along to the biggest hits of the band. Almost all the hits were played, supplemented by crowd favorites such as ‘Georgy Porgy’, ‘White Sister’ and on request: the deep cut ‘Kingdom of Desire’, which was extended into a true masterpiece. And not just any…

Toto David Paich Steve LukatherDespite the fact that the legend withdrew from touring a few years ago, and would only accompany TOTO in the background, it was the goosebumps moment of 2022. David Paich walked onto the stage with overwhelming applause and was immediately embraced by TOTO and the entire audience. What a beautiful sight and hearing to see and hear the co-founder of the band join in the song. The fact that TOTO had chosen the Netherlands for an intimate tour start, and had also chosen to let the legend play along, can be called a great honour. Yes, TOTO was, is and remains big in our country and TOTO had not forgotten that.

David PaichPaich participated until the end, on ‘With a little help from my friends’, ‘Rosanna’ and of course ‘Africa’; coincidentally just the songs at the end of the set where Paich actually had the lead vocals. Premeditated game? Sure, but the audience enjoyed it from front to back. It remains to be seen whether and where Paich will make his appearance next time as a surprise act, but for now: we were there!

Photos (c) Wyona Latupeirissa/Maxazine.nl
Photos David Paich, Joseph Williams with orange lights (c) Eus Driessen/Maxazine.com

Toto Setlist Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2022, The Dogz of Oz

Toto Steve Lukather